Following the continued success of a wave of spelling and punctuation titles published in the past eighteen months, James Essinger's 'Spellbound' is an engagingly written, unique and comprehensive account of why the English language is riddled with words that are difficult to spell. Starting with an analysis of the first writing systems, via the origins of English spelling and how this has evolved, the book concludes with the intriguing stories of the development of the spelling of many hard-to-spell words. 'Spellbound' lays bare many fascinating stories of the history of the words we speak every day. It reveals answers to the mystery of why many words are, on the face of it, spelled in such an irrational, chaotic and illogical manner. Explaining why we should care about spelling, the book is an entertaining and practical guide to effective communication, as well as an original historical study of one of the most curious linguistic phenomena in the world.
Hi everyone! Welcome to my author page on amazon!
My name is James Essinger and I write novels, non-fiction books, magazine articles and also I do some business writing. I also write novels and non-fiction books as a ghost-writer. In addition to this I have written a screenplay about Ada Lovelace called 'Ada's Thinking-Machine', and I am also involved with another writer and a composer in writing a musical about Ada.
I was born in the English Midlands city of Leicester in 1957 and went to Overdale Junior School, Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and then Lincoln College, Oxford, where I studied English Language and Literature. I have an MA degree from Oxford University.
My surname is German. My late father Ted, who was born in 1922 and died in 2005, was born in Germany in a German Jewish family and came to the UK in July 1939, just six weeks before WW2 broke out. My grandfather Julius (my second Christian name is Julius) was killed in Auschwitz. My grandmother Rega and my uncle Uli also died during WW2. I am deeply sympathetic to the Jewish faith but my own religious position is essentially agnostic. I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction.
I speak Finnish, French and German as well as English. From 1980 to 1983 I taught English in Finland in three nine-month contracts. I have been a freelance writer and public relations consultant since 1988.
I love writing, reading, chess, great music, cooking, socialising and also gardening though I don't have much time for that.
Writers I love include Shakespeare, Dickens, Conrad and George Orwell. My favourite Shakespeare play is 'As You Like It', my favourite Dickens works are 'A Christmas Carol' and 'Our Mutual Friend', and my favourite Conrad books are 'Heart of Darkness', 'Lord Jim' and 'Nostromo'.
Other books that have made a massive impact on me include DH Lawrence's 'Women in Love', William Styron's 'Sophie's Choice', Anthony Burgess's 'Earthly Powers', William Sutcliffe's 'Are You Experienced?' and Philip Kerr's 'A Philosophical Investigation'.
Movies I especially like include: 'Casablanca', 'Some Like It Hot', Mephisto', 'The Terminator', 'Les Visiteurs', 'Gladiator', 'Sideways' and the marvellous horror film 'Mama'. If I want a good laugh I like watching the movie 'Fat Slags' written by my friend William Osborne.
Poets whose work I love include John Keats, Lord Byron, Shelley, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin and my friend Valerie Cassar, whose recent collection 'Silence of Your Breath' is superb.
I am on Facebook and Twitter.
I am also the principal of Canterbury Literary Agency, which I founded in 2011. www.canterburyliteraryagency.com